Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
During a recess in the trial of the three men that killed Ahmaud Arbery, one of the attorneys for the defense told the judge that “we don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here…sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence the jury in this case.” It’s unclear what kind of motion the defense was trying to make, but the judge struck it down.
“The idea that we’re gonna be serially bringing these people in to sit with the victim’s family one after another, obviously there’s only so many pastors they can have,” said defense attorney Kevin Gough. “If their pastor is Al Sharpton right now that’s fine, but then that’s it. We don’t want anymore Black pastors coming in here or other, Jesse Jackson or whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence the jury in this case.”
The defense attorney then clarifies to say that he was not even aware that Rev. Sharpton was in the courtroom, nor is he sure that the prosecution was aware.
Judge denies defense attorney’s request
It’s important to point out that members of the public inside the courtroom are required to wear masks.
After the Defense Attorney spoke, the judge denied whatever motion the defense was trying to make with his reprimand.
“The fact that nobody else even noticed that he was in here means that everybody complied with this court’s rulings on sitting in this courtroom and listening to the evidence,” the judge said. “I don’t hear a motion and I will tell you this, I am not going to blanketly exclude members of the public from this courtroom. If individuals, based on the limitations that we have in the courtroom, end up sitting in the courtroom and they can do so respectful of the court’s process and in compliance with this court’s orders with regard to the conduct of this trial and they’re not a distraction, then I’m not going to do anything about it. And I did not hear from anyone that there was any distraction whatsoever.”